Even though there are several forms of treatment for different forms of aphasia which are in existence today, it is important to note that only a few of them have been scrupulously studied and found to be efficient (Spreen, 2003). Most of these treatments are based upon theoretical frameworks which have not yet been fully proven. Nevertheless, many physicians and speech pathologists attest to the significance of aphasia therapies as a result of their experience with many patients.
Generally speaking, the treatment of aphasia aims at improving an individual’s ability to communicate. Effective treatments usually commence very early during the recovery process, and are constantly maintained over time (Goodglass, 1972). Some of the key factors which influence the level of improvement include things such as the exact region of the brain that was damaged, the cause of the damage, the magnitude of the injury and the general health of the individual. In most cases, a speech-language pathologist works closely with other medical professionals and rehabilitators such as nurses, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, family members and social workers to provide an inclusive assessment and treatment plan for the patient. Nevertheless, it should be noted that there is no single treatment that has been found to be effective in the treatment of all forms of aphasia.
According to Spreen (2003), Conduction aphasia, which is also referred to as associative aphasia, is not a very common form of aphasia. It is an acquired language disorder that is characterized by normal auditory comprehension and fluent speech production, yet poor speech repetition. People who acquire this disorder display recurrent errors when giving a spontaneous speech such that they often transpose or substitute sounds.
The treatment of this disorder starts with its diagnosis. The diagnosis involves careful analysis of the patient’s speech because conduction aphasics are usually able to converse freely. The only difference is that these patients usually include occasional paraphasias on their speech. The patients are usually unable to repeat some parts of their speech when asked to do so, and if they manage to do so, they usually do it under significant difficulties with recurrent attempts to correct themselves. It is however important to note that these patients are usually able to answer any asked questions fluently and spontaneously (Goodglass, 1972).
There are several standardized test batteries in existence today which are capable of diagnosing and categorizing aphasias, thus providing the basis for their treatment. These tests are usually able to identify conduction aphasia with much precision. Two of the most regularly used test batteries for the diagnosis of conduction aphasia are the Western Aphasia Battery which is abbreviated as WAB, and the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination which is abbreviated as BDAE. These inspections usually comprise of a set of tests and experiments which involve asking the patients to read printed words, name pictures, repeat certain words and non-words and count loudly (Spreen, 2003).
The treatment of conduction aphasia involves regular therapies. The Western Aphasia Battery tests always show steady improvements in patients. It is however important to note that conduction aphasia is a very mild form of aphasia. Conduction aphasics usually score high points on the Western Aphasia Battery tests at baseline.
Transcortical Sensory Aphasia, usually abbreviated as TSA is a type of aphasia in which patients usually exhibit poor comprehension, yet fluent and grammatically correct conversations (Goodglass, 1972). Patients who suffer from this disorder are usually able to communicate with ease, and are also capable of producing good speech repetition. The major problem with these patients lies in a portion of their brains which is referred to as Temporal-occipital-parietal junction that is situated behind the Wernicke’s region. This interference makes the people who suffer from TSA to exhibit semantic paraphasia such that they use incorrect words that seem to resemble the correct ones. For instance, paper can be mistaken for pencil, while an apple can be mistaken to for orange (Goodglass, 1972).
Transcortical sensory aphasia can be diagnosed and treated by means of inducing electrical interferences on the speech sounds of the patients. Phonological decoding of speech sounds can then be assessed using syllable discrimination, which is then be followed by language lateralization tests that involve intracarotid amobarbital injections. The treatment of TSA is done through therapeutic interventions that are aimed at enhancing the auditory communicative skills of the patient and managing his/her rambling communication style. For instance, a therapeutic regimen that focuses on visual and written information which comprises of a hierarchy of visual words and sentence conception tasks can be used (Spreen, 2003).